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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Urban Design Commission critiques Hub at Madison II plans

In a presentation before Madison’s Urban Design Commission Wednesday, two developers of the Hub at Madison II stressed the inclusion of Madison’s traditional architectural elements into their building design, which will be located on West Gorham Street.

In response, the commission raised questions regarding the 12-story Hub II’s building structure, safety concerns as well as the area’s historical preservation.

The Hub II representatives, Vandewalle & Associates, Inc., urban designer Brian Munson and Antunovich Associates architect Jeff Zelisko, stressed their extensive research of the area, citing ongoing discussions with various city entities, including city engineering and Madison Metro.

“Our goal is to … meet and exceed all the standards on the site,” Munson said. “We meet the downtown height standards, we meet the setback standards, we meet the criteria of the downtown design district for the zoning.”

Zelisko and Munson summarized Madison Metro urban design goals and emphasized the incorporation of those goals into Hub II plans.

Through working with city engineering and Madison Metro, Zelisko explained how developers were already responsive to city official concerns.

Developers recently chose to move a loading dock in the design plans, after city officials pointed out the potentially hazardous lack of visibility at the original location, Zelisko said.

According to the designers, there are two target markets: Epic Systems employees and university students. Given the two target markets, the Hub II plans split the structure to include two lobbies.

However, UDC members struggled to find cohesion between the two structures making up the Hub II.

“I want it to feel integrated but right now it feels like two separate buildings,” said Commission member Melissa Huggins.

“It is the composition [of the building], so, I think we would expect to see bigger revisions than just modifying elements,” said UDC member Dawn O’Kroley.

However, Zelisko argued modern elements were critical to their building philosophy.

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“I want to go more towards a modern expression… We think it’s the right approach for the project … it differentiates from Hub I,” Zelisko said.

Hub II plans are still in their preliminary stages and will continue to move forward through city committees.

*A previous version of this article attributed the wrong titles to Brian Munson and Jeff Zelisko, calling Munson an architect with Antunovich Associates and Zelisko an urban designer with Vandewalle & Associates, Inc.

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